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Ludlow Breaks Ground on New Public Works Building with Unique Design

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The City of Ludlow will have a new Public Works facility by the end of the year. Ground was broken in a ceremony on Thursday morning.

The building will be designed to recall Ludlow’s historic connection to the railroad. Dating back to 1870, Ludlow was home to rail yards operated first by The Cincinnati Southern Railroad and later the Norfolk Southern Railway, according to The Northern Kentucky Encyclopedia.
 
The building is being developed by Hemmer Industries. The company's leader, Bill Hemmer, has a personal connection to the project. His mother, Pat Stultz Hemmer, is a Ludlow native and grew up just around the corner from where the new facility will be built at 101 Oak Street, adjacent to the City Building.
 
“The building will be very functional and efficient, but it will also have the look and feel of an old train station,” Hemmer said. “Ludlow has a long history with the railroad. There was once a major rail yard and a roundhouse in the city. So we’re even going to put up a railroad crossing light on the building.”
 
“A new building is definitely needed,” said Ludlow Public Works Director John Knuf. “We are basically in a temporary building because the roof collapsed on the old public works building. The building we are in now is very inadequate. We can’t store any of our equipment indoors; the garage is just too small. And to maintain equipment property, it’s extremely important to keep the equipment inside."
 
“The new building allows us to put all of our equipment in one area. We can keep the equipment cleaner and in better condition, and it will be much easier to work on police cars and fire trucks. In the building we have now, we get hardly get one police car in there at a time.”
 
The new public works will be 6,500-square-feet. It is scheduled to be completed by December, 2013.
 
Mayor Kenneth Wynn and City Administrator Brian Richmond see more possibilities for the area around the City Building where the new Public Works facility will be constructed. The City recently acquired a piece of land across the street and razed the long vacant, run-down building and are now hopeful that a business will see it as a possible development opportunity. Meanwhile, a new Pizza Hut is doing good business and a new Subway is scheduled to open soon,
 
A streetscape project was also recently completed.
 
"Now we're ready to market that area for economic growth," Mayor Wynn said.
 
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

Photo: Groundbreaking in Ludlow/RCN